1890s photo shows ‘Greta Thunberg’ and fans think she might be a time traveller

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has become one of the most recognisable faces on the planet thanks to her campaigning. But could the 19-year-old be from another time altogether?

Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg fans have been speculating about whether she might have the ability to time travel

Greta Thunberg’s face has become one of the symbols of 21st-century upheaval and change, as she helps inspire youngsters to join the green revolution.

But could she have been sent from the past to alter the future?

An unlikely theory… but that has not stopped fans from joking about the teen climate change activist being a time traveller after spotting an uncanny resemblance in a late 19th-century photograph.

Three years ago, the internet went wild after an unearthed black and white snap seemed for all the world to show Greta’s face beaming out at viewers.

The image was from 1898 and shows three children working at a gold mine in Canada’s Yukon territory, with the girl on the left looking the spit of the Swedish environmentalist.

A photo from around 1898 has Greta Thunberg fans speculating on whether she might come from another age


Eric A Hegg/University of Washington Libraries)

The baby-face, braided hair, familiar no-nonsense glare and compact frame are all present in the girl as she stares into the camera.

Singer-songwriter Dean Friedman tweeted: “120-year-old photo sparks theories that climate activist & environmental heroine, Greta Thunberg, is in fact a ‘time-traveller’ who has travelled through time to save our planet!

“Wishing her all the best and success in her mission to save the earth. We can use the help we can get!”

Some have even put forward the theory that the 19-year-old actually went back in time, and has since returned to the present day.

The girl in the photo looks uncannily like Greta Thunberg


Eric A Hegg/University of Washington Libraries)

Maybe she was potentially looking to go back and change the course of history in order to try and prevent the climate chaos the planet looks headed for?

Author Jack Stranger, in a tongue-in-cheek post, tweeted: “To those saying ‘How can she be in the past if she’s from the future?!?’

“Obviously, as a time traveller, she can travel to ANY time period. She obviously tried to go back 120 years, didn’t work, and now she’s here. Obviously!” tweeted the writer Jack Strange.

The photo was taken by photographer Eric Hegg who, intriguingly, grew up in Sweden, like Greta did — although they were born 136 years apart.

He moved to America when still a teenager and went on to document the Klondike gold rush, taking some historically important images of those looking to get rich in the late 1800s mining boom.

Very little is known about the three young subjects in the picture with the Greta Thunberg likeness, with it simply captioned: “Youths operating gold mines on Dominion. Klondyke, Y.T.”

Hegg’s images form part of a special collection which is in the hands of University of Washington Libraries.

According to The Guardia n, Hegg himself dabbled in mining in addition to lugging heavy camera gear throughout the region, but never struck gold.

He died in 1947 in San Diego, with his photography, which was exhibited during his lifetime, donated to the university about 50 years ago.

Archivists at the higher education institution in Seattle said the photograph was well-known to them, even before the Greta Thunberg likeness was discovered.

The image is a showpiece of the Hegg collection due to the fact it depicted such young children working a mining operation, The Guardian reported.

But the theories around the Thunberg connection sent its popularity soaring, staff confirmed.

“We’ve had about 15 to 20 requests just to talk about the photo, and we’re getting into almost the triple digits now, in terms of requests to use the photo,” university archivist Lisa Oberg told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

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